The past year has been tough for the foodservice industry. Market-wide cost pressures have negatively impacted performance and brought several high street chains to the brink of bankruptcy.
In 2017, the number of restaurants going bust increased by a fifth to nearly 1000 insolvencies. Chains like Prezzo, Byron and Gourmet Burger Kitchen have all had to scale back and agree rescue deals. Jamie’s Italian, which has closed 12 of its 37 restaurants, has suffered a £20m loss this year alone.
But why has this happened? Rising food, rent and employment costs, a saturated casual dining market and a squeeze in consumer spending have all presented a huge challenge for foodservice businesses. To add to the pressure, the effects of growing trends for home-delivery and healthier eating have started to bite.
With this in mind, how can you overcome these cost pressures and get ahead in the new year?
Read on for our top six tips…
1. Focus on your indirect spend
While it may seem tempting to look to direct expenditure, it’s actually in the indirect categories of spend that cost reduction can have a considerable impact. Opportunities can be found in your supplier networks to reduce spend and realise savings in areas such as kitchen equipment, front-of-house furniture, uniforms, smallwares, cleaning products and marketing materials.
2. Gain total visibility
To really take control and see where cost savings can be made, you need to have a view of your entire operation. Gaining visibility of indirect spend will enable you to monitor those areas where spend is high (and take action accordingly) and to see where savings are being made. Knowledge, as they say, is power.
3. Open new outlets, fast
For foodservice chains like those discussed earlier, cutting down the time it takes to open new outlets is vital; the faster an outlet can be opened, the faster it can bring in revenue. The way to achieve this is to put in place a more streamlined, integrated process where franchisees can order and manage everything they need from one central procurement system.
4. Protect your brand
In a market as crowded as foodservice, it’s vital to provide your customers with a consistent experience that they associate with your brand. In addition, giving great service will foster loyalty with your existing customers – and attract new ones. Purchasing everything you need from a centralised, approved supply chain enables you to do this.
5. Maximise your IT investments and integrate
Digital integration helps you to maximise the systems you already have in place. By bringing IT systems together, (procurement, finance and sales, for example) you can create an integrated whole. This also helps you to plug any gaps and catalogue all areas of spend – even where products are complex and highly-configurable.
6. Negotiate with your suppliers
If you want to make your franchises more profitable, you need to be able to negotiate the best possible prices with your suppliers – for all supplies. One of the most efficient and error-free ways to make this happen is to lock down prices in an online marketplace.
Geneus can help you achieve all of the above, simply.
Geneus provides you and your franchisees with a central online marketplace, from which purchases can be made from an agreed network of suppliers. It enables you to achieve cost savings through online demand aggregation and negotiated lower price points, while protecting your brand with 100% contract compliance.
Ultimately, our eProcurement solution gives you complete spend visibility across the supply chain, so you can see at a glance where savings can be made. And with seamless integration, Geneus can capture the spend that can’t typically be catalogued in a P2P or ERP system.
Geneus also helps you to open new outlets more quickly, giving you a reduction in lead times – and a step towards gaining a greater market share. This ‘one stop shop’ approach is great for attracting new franchisees, who’ll experience an efficient process for opening up and running the business, no matter how complex the ordering.
Contact us today to find out how Geneus can help you get the most out of the year ahead.